Octavio Dotel agreed Thursday to a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the only club that offered him the chance to be a closer.
The deal calls for a $3.25 million salary next season and includes a $4.5 million club option for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout. If Dotel is traded, the option becomes mutual.
"Octavio Dotel is an experienced, solid late-inning reliever with quality pitches who will help solidify our bullpen in the closer role," general manager Neal Huntington said.
The 36-year-old Dotel hasn't been a closer since 2007, when he had 11 saves for Kansas City. He had one save the past two seasons as a setup man for the Chicago White Sox, going 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA with 75 strikeouts in 62 1-3 innings last year.
Dotel has 83 saves since breaking into the majors with the New York Mets at age 25 in 1999. He saved a combined 36 games for Houston and Oakland in 2004.
The Pirates chose not to re-sign closer Matt Capps, who went to Washington. Capps had 27 saves but a 5.80 ERA last season.
To make room for Dotel on their 40-man roster, the Pirates designated right-hander Anthony Claggett for assignment. Claggett pitched in two games for the Yankees and one for Pittsburgh last season.
For a team supposedly undergoing a youth movement, the Pirates are getting much older in the back of their bullpen. Earlier, they signed 38-year-old Brendan Donnelly to be a setup man, and Dotel will be one of the majors' oldest closers. Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek will be the other primary relievers.
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